ALABAMA vs. NORTH TEXAS
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Bryant-Denny Stadium – Tuscaloosa, Ala.
ALABAMA'S 53 POINTS
The Crimson Tide's 53 points in Saturday's win are the most during Saban's tenure at Alabama. The previous high of 52 came on Sept. 1, 2007 against Western Carolina in his first game at Alabama. Additionally, the 53 are the most scored by Alabama since beating UTEP, 56-7, on Oct. 6, 2001 at Legion Field in Birmingham. The 53 points are the most at Bryant-Denny Stadium since a 62-0 win over Tulane on Oct. 12, 1991.
DEFENSE DOES ITS PART
Alabama's defense stymied North Texas all afternoon, holding the Mean Green to 187 total yards of offense. Excluding the fumble UNT recovered on Alabama's opening drive, it did not cross midfield again until 3:19 left in the third quarter. Over the past 17 games Alabama has held 15 teams under 100 yards rushing. The Tide has surrendered just 1,164 yards on the ground in the last 17 games, an average of 68.5 yards per game. Also, no individual running back has cracked the 100-yard mark since Mississippi’s BenJarvus Green-Ellis went for 131 on Oct. 13, 2007, a span of 22 games. The Alabama defense has also held opponents under 200 yards of total offense in eight of the last 17 games, including a 155-yard effort by Virginia Tech in the season opener and a 187-yard performance today. The sub-200-yard games in that span: Clemson (188); Western Kentucky (158); Tennessee (173); Arkansas State (158); Mississippi State (167); Auburn (170); Virginia Tech (155); North Texas (187).
Alabama took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, its biggest first-quarter lead of the season and the first time the Tide defense has kept an opponent out of the endzone in the opening quarter this season. The Tide has now scored on eight of its 10 first quarter possessions this season with five field goals and three touchdowns. Alabama has run 69 first quarter plays for 449 yards in 2009.
McELROY KEYS FAST START
Quarterback Greg McElroy completed 10-of-11 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown in the opening quarter. In the past two games, McElroy has completed 20-of-22 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter. Last week against Florida International, McElroy completed 10-of-11 passes for 155 yards and one touchdown in the first quarter. In his last two games, McElroy has completed 25-of-28 passes for 359 yards and two touchdowns during the first half. He is 12-of-14 for 157 yards and two touchdowns today against North Texas. Last week against Florida International, McElroy was 13-of-14 for 202 yards and one touchdown in the first half.
McELROY TIES UA ACCURACY RECORD
Greg McElroy tied the Alabama record for best completion percentage in a single game with a minimum of 10 completions. McElroy tied the mark of Walter Lewis (1983 vs. Mississippi) and Danny Woodson (1991 vs. Vanderbilt) by completing 13-of-15 passes for an 86.7 percentage.
OPENING DRIVE STREAK SNAPPED
Alabama's fumble on its first play from scrimmage marked the first time this season the Crimson Tide has failed to score on its opening drive and just the 13th time it has occured during Saban's tenure at UA. The Tide returned to form on its second drive with quarterback Greg McElroy going 7-of-8 for 61 yards in leading a 13-play, 95-yard drive capped by a 2-yard scramble from McElroy. The drive was Alabama's longest scoring drive of the season (previous 80-yards vs. FIU).
In its last two games, Alabama has scored each time it has entered the red zone, improving to a perfect 12-of-12 at home. The Tide has scored 18-of-20 times it has entered an opponents' red zone this season and 15-straight times, excluding a series of plays to run out the clock against Virginia Tech.
LEADING AT THE HALF
Alabama is 20-1 under Saban when leading at halftime, including a 14-game winning streak. The only loss came against LSU during the 2007 season when UA held a 20-17 halftime lead before losing, 41-34, on Nov. 3, 2007, at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
RUNNING BACKS ROLL
Alabama racked up 260 yards on the ground with five rushing touchdowns in the victory. Terry Grant had two of the touchdown runs and 79 total yards while Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson has 91 and 87 yards, respectively, and a touchdown each. Demetrius Goode, who carried just once, was the only UA ballcarrier not to reach the endzone.
TIFFIN MOVES PAST HIS FATHER ON ALABAMA’S CAREER FIELD GOALS LIST
Senior place-kicker Leigh Tiffin converted both field goal attempts (35, 20) on the day to give him 61 career field goals, third all-time at Alabama behind Philip Doyle (78 from 1987-90) and Michael Proctor (65 from 1992-95). He surpassed his father, Van Tiffin (59 from 1983-86), on the Alabama career field goals list with the 35-yard attempt to end the first half.
ONE-PUNT AFTERNOON FOR FITZGERALD
Alabama was forced to punt only once on the afternoon and not until there was 3:19 left in the third quarter. North Texas punted nine times in the loss.
ARENAS AVERAGES 30 YARDS ON RETURNS
Return man Javier Arenas posted 151 total return yards in the win, including a 61-yard kickoff return in the third quarter. That return was just a yard shy of his career-best kickoff return at Tennessee in 2007. His 90 punt-return yards came on four returns with a long of 36.
RESERVES SEE PLENTY OF ACTION
Sixty-five Alabama players saw action against North Texas as the Tide got valuable playing time for many of its reserves. Receivers Michael Bowman and Brandon Gibson each hauled in their first catches at Alabama's 22 completions were spread out among 11 different targets. Reserve quarterback Star Jackson made nine of those completions on 13 attempts for 87 yards.
Today’s game captains for Alabama were senior offensive guard Mike Johnson, junior linebacker Rolando McClain and senior Cory Reamer. North Texas won the coin toss and elected to defer. Alabama received the opening kickoff.
North Texas Postgame Notes vs. Alabama
Sept. 19, 2009 – Bryant Denny Stadium – Tuscaloosa, Ala.
- North Texas went three-and-out on its first two possessions of the game. The Mean Green offense had only five three-and-out possessions in its first two games combined.
- Alabama had touchdown drives of 95 and 67 yards on in the first quarter. Those are the two longest drives given up by the Mean Green defense this season.
- Quarterback Nathan Tune threw a 17-yard pass to freshman wide receiver Darius Carey with under two minutes to play in the first quarter for the Mean Green’s first, first down of the game.
- The 14 points that North Texas allowed in the first quarter were the only points the Mean Green has allowed in the first quarter this season. The Mean Green had outscored its opponents 10-0 in the first quarter of the first two games.
- North Texas’ 29 yards of offense in the first quarter was the fewest it has posted in any quarter this season. It was the fewest yards gained in a quarter by North Texas since it had 28 in the fourth quarter against LSU in 2008.
- North Texas trailed 30-0 at halftime which was the first time it had been held scoreless in a half since Florida International jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead in 2008.
- North Texas was outgained 352-62 in total offense in the first half, which was the largest differential in total offense since it was outgained 482-75 against Oklahoma in the 2007 season opener.
- Sophomore running back James Hamilton recorded his first carries of the season when he entered the game in the third quarter.
- Junior quarterback Nathan Tune threw his first career touchdown pass when he hooked up with running back Lance Dunbar for a 34-yard score in the third quarter. It was also the longest scoring play for North Texas this season.